TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (L)
INTRO: Another round of fighting has erupted in
Afghanistan between the Taleban and opposition forces.
As Correspondent Scott Anger reports from Kabul,
echoes of artillery could be heard throughout the city
as the Taleban launched another offensive in
recaptured territory north of the capitol.
Text: Taleban forces say they have recaptured two
towns in their latest offensive against opposition
fighters. In addition, the hard-line Islamic movement
says it has re-taken the strategic opposition airbase
at Bagram about 60-kilometers north of Kabul.
An opposition spokesman denies the Taleban holds the
airbase. But, he admitted the Taleban have captured
Karabagh and Kalakan after intense fighting.
Both sides are reportedly using heavy artillery along
the battlefront. The front line has shifted at least
two times during the past two-weeks as each side has
launched an offensive and counter-offensive bringing
the battle lines back to their original positions.
The Taleban launched a major offensive late last month
that drove the opposition back into their stronghold
in the Panjshir valley.
Soon after, the opposition struck back, forcing the
Taleban to retreat from all the territory they had
Wednesday, Taleban jet fighters flew a number of
bombing missions from the capital's airport, striking
positions the opposition has held since driving the
Taleban back toward Kabul.
There is no independent confirmation on casualties
from the latest fighting. With the Pakistan-based
"Afghan-Islamic Press" saying many of the injured have
been brought to hospitals in Kabul.
Meanwhile, tension has been rising in the capital
since the Taleban defeat last week. A number of check
points manned by young Taleban soldiers with heavy
machine guns have been set up throughout the city.
Vehicles and their occupants are stopped and searched
for weapons. A curfew set up earlier by the Taleban
is still in place.
Afghanistan's warring factions have ignored pleas for
peace by the United Nations in western countries to
finally bring peace to the war ravaged nation.
Since taking control of Kabul in 1996, the Taleban has
fought to defeat the last remaining opposition, which
still controls about 10-percent of the country.
11-Aug-1999 09:54 AM EDT (11-Aug-1999 1354 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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